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Ask the Author: Shakirah Bourne

JOSEPHINE AGAINST THE SEA is great for fans of Tracey Baptiste’s THE JUMBIES, and R.L. Stine’s THE GIRL WHO CRIED MONSTER. 
 
Eleven-year-old Josephine Cadogan loves two things above all else: 
 
1) Playing cricket 
2) Scaring away her fisherman father’s new girlfriends 
 
That’s why she’s desperate to make it onto her school’s cricket team. She’ll get to play her favorite sport AND make sure Daddy is too busy attending her matches to date. But then Coach Broomes throws a wrench into her plan and announces that girls can’t try out for the team. Frustrated and unsure where else to turn, Josephine makes a wish in front of the powerful silk cotton Tree. But instead of solving her problems, an even bigger one arises . . . . 
 
That afternoon, Daddy brings home a new catch, a beautiful woman named Mariss. And unlike the other girlfriends, this one doesn’t scare easily. Josephine can tell there’s something fishy about Mariss — she sings in a strange language, eats weird food, and seems to exert mysterious control over everyone she meets. And even worse, she seems to be turning Daddy against Josephine. 
 
Josephine knows that Mariss isn’t what she seems . . . she might not even be human! But who’s going to believe her? Can Josephine convince her friends to help her and use her cricket skills to save Daddy from Mariss’s dark magic before it’s too late? 

Ask the Author: Bentley Turner

Thomas Marks is a young, intelligent man who is naïve about those who work in law enforcement. After two young women are murdered, Thomas becomes the leading suspect. Although he claims he’s innocent, the investigating detectives don’t believe him primarily because the evidence doesn’t corroborate his story. Eventually, another suspect surfaces. Thomas thinks he’s in the clear, but appearances can’t always be trusted.

Ask the Author: Celia Krampien

“a little girl named Sunny who has an unexpected adventure during a rainy walk to school. She tries to see the bright side of her unusual set-backs but as her situation gets bleaker and bleaker, she struggles. When the going gets too tough, Sunny has a cry. In the end, she gets back to where she needs to be thanks to the kindness of others.”

Ask the Author: Keisha Bush

“Six-year-old Ibrahimah loves snatching pastries from his mother’s kitchen, harvesting string beans with his father and searching for sea glass with his sisters. But when he is approached in his rural village one day by Marabout Ahmed, a seemingly kind stranger, and highly regarded teacher, the tides of his life turn forever. Ibrahimah is sent to the capital city of Dakar to join his cousin Étienne in studying the Koran under Marabout Ahmed for a year, but instead of the days of learning that Ibrahimah’s parents imagine, the young boys, called Talibé, are forced to beg in the streets in order to line their teacher’s pockets.

To make it back home, Étienne and Ibrahimah must help each other survive both the dangers posed by their Marabout, and the darker sides of Dakar: threats of black-market organ traders, rival packs of Talibé, and mounting student protest on the streets.

Drawn from real incidents and transporting readers between rural and urban Senegal, No Heaven for Good Boys is a tale of hope, resilience, and the affirming power of love.”

Ask the Author: Kerat Kaur Jhaj

“Himagus is about ancient aliens that are running out of space on their planet Himagus so their Emperor sends two boys William and David to butcher humans on earth and then have some of Himagusians settle on Earth. William fell in love and killed everyone except Kylie, and now she’s trying to decide if she should just blast off these Himagusians for killing her mom, dad and all the mankind or should she attempt to find a way to get Emperor’s locket and wish for mankind to be back. Or you know…she can just forgive William and this can be her happily ever after.”

Ask the Author: Sara Lippmann

“a collection of short stories that examine the intimate lives of characters seeking connection beyond their scripted worlds. From grieving mothers to fathers adrift, old flames to restless teens, the isolated characters in Doll Palace are united by conflicting desires and the private struggles of the heart. The book was originally published in 2014 with Dock Street Press — and is newly released with 713 Books.”

Ask the Author: Jason June

“a contemporary queer rom-com about our titular character who is the only out gay student in his entire rural high school. He’s a Type-A Virgo planner, so while he watches all his heterosexual classmates have all these relationship milestones, he feels left behind and makes a romance to-do list (his Gay Agenda) of all the things he wants to do when he finally meets another boy-who-likes-boys. Soon after the start of the story, his mom gets a promotion that takes him to Seattle in his senior year, and the book follows Jay as he finally gets to cross items off his to-do list. It’s a sex-positive story that explores all the ups and downs and layers added to your life when you’re finally seen by your peers as a romantic and sexual being.”

Ask the Author: Gwendolyn Womack

“a master psychometrist, Roan West, who can touch objects and read the memories stored within them. Roan’s close friend belongs to a group of psychometrists who are researching out-of-place artifacts around the world and they stumble upon something they shouldn’t have. Roan’s friend goes missing and Roan sets out to find out what’s happened. In the midst he must protect a young budding psychometrist, Melicent Tilpin, who has just gotten famous by finding a rare pocket watch with her gift. The story takes off from there.”

Ask the Author: E.J. Dawson

“I write sci-fi fantasy predominately but love to dabble in romance and paranormal. As such my sci-fi action Queen of Spades trilogy is about Ayla and her dark gift of seeing when everyone will die, but she’s been frozen for three millennia and while she remembers who she is, she has no memory of how she got there. On the other hand, I have Letitia in Behind the Veil, who can read the veil between life and death and gives closure to grieving families, but when a man comes to her to save his niece, she’ll need to choose between self-preservation and insanity. I write weak female protagonists whose illusions of what makes them strong or weak isn’t all it appears and their self-discovery is part of the story.”

Ask the Author: Miel Moreland

IT GOES LIKE THIS is about the four former members of a world-famous queer pop band. A year and a half after their messy breakup, there’s a devastating storm in their hometown, and they reunite to perform at a benefit concert. For Eva and Celeste, this reunion is especially fraught—because Celeste broke up with Eva on the same night as the band fell apart. Ultimately, it’s about discovering whether growing up always means growing apart.

Ask the Author: Alysa Wishingrad

“THE VERDIGRIS PAWN is the story of Beau, heir to the ruler of the Land, a man so frightening, people only dare call him Himself. Beau has been raised isolated and alone. And despite the harsh and judgmental treatment he gets from his father, Beau has no idea of the brutal tyranny Himself unleashes upon his subjects and how hated and feared their family is.

This all changes when he meets Cressi, a servant, who opens his eyes to the realities of life in the Land – especially about Mastery House, a terrible and brutal place where the children of the poor are sent to be raised and trained to be servants in exchange for their families taxes.

This discovery of the truth sets Beau off on an epic adventure as he tries to undo the poisoned legacy of his family. But in order to restore fairness and equality to the Land, he must think of things like a real-life game of Fist (a board game similar to chess!)

But when you’re reviled throughout the Land and false heroes lurk around every corner, leading a rebellion is easier said than done.

This is a story about how appearances aren’t always what they seem and how real power can come from the most unlikely places.”

Ask the Author: Janet Walden-West

“I pitched SALT+STILETTOS as Top Chef meets Sweet Home Alabama with a stubborn, publicity-phobic American Samoan chef breaking into the South Beach fine dining scene, and a determined image consultant hired on a deadline to turn him into a star. And there are certainly plenty of cutthroat foodie moments, culture clashes, and bonding over Spam. However, it’s also about dealing with body image issues, trying to protect privacy in a world more and more dominated by a nothing-is-off-limits mentality, and defying poverty and society’s expectations.”